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A study of the process and development on the senior citizen voluntary service
Aim: Explore and research the patterns of senior citizens’ participation in volunteer works, and its inherited benefit for participants’ well-being. Method: Gather and analyze data from a group of nine (9) participants employing in-depth semi-structured individual interview and participatory observation. Results: 1. Most participants volunteer as a way to give back to society. 2. Reasons for continuing volunteer works are: identifying with their works, maintaining social contacts, self-affirmation, positive feedbacks, convenient service locations, and flexibility. 3. When facing adversity and setback, participants tend to exhibit positive and optimistic attitude toward their own values and actively seek solutions. 4. Reasons keeping them from volunteer works are usually personal, such as family needs and physical health conditions. Conclusion and suggestion: Participants in the study all find time between jobs and families to volunteer at their spare time. Through active social interaction and service, they develop much more positive and open-minded views toward lives in general. However, the study also finds that self-reliance and well-care of family are vital prerequisites to succeed in any volunteering works. The key to age gracefully is to understand and adjust to changes in the process of active participation of volunteer services.In addition, participation provides a conducive environment for self-improvement. That in turn improves the quality of lives and works, and achieves a win-win situation for participants and society. The study suggests that for those who are considering joining to be volunteers, the earlier you are involved, the greater probability you would develop the character of conscientious leisure, and enable you to make a much smoother and graceful transition to be a senior citizen.
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